#3. The Stinger
Before America entered the Second World War, Tony Stein was a Machinist, a Golden Gloves Boxer and a Navy Reservist. So he was kind of hardcore to begin with, and then a good ol' man-makin' war came around, and it was like tempering steel in Grizzly blood. At some point during Stein's conquest of half a dozen Pacific islands, he came upon a downed Douglas Dauntless Dive-Bomber (alliteration is always fun, even in the face of genocide!) with its tail gun still intact. Stein took the gun, added the stock (the back side) from an M1 Garand, the bi pod and sights from a standard machine gun, and a box to hold the chains of .30 caliber bullets.
There's just so... much... gun.
Jesus! Look at that thing: It's like every gun in the world had sex with every other gun in the world, and then neglected the resulting love-child until it became psychotic and vowed revenge on everything.
Remember: This was a gun designed to be mounted on a plane in order to kill other planes. And Stein figured that was as good a thing as any to heave up on his shoulder and go Nazi destroying. The Stinger had a Rate of Fire in the region of 1,500 rounds a minute, which is well within Mini-Gun territory. To put that into perspective, here's a video clip of a gun with a rate of fire of 1,200/minute.
Which is enough to easily saw off the top of a building.
When the US launched its assault on Iwo Jima in February 1945, Stein was there with his ad-hoc bastardized God-worrier. The power of the bullets would tear fortified emplacements apart and suppress the occupants enough to allow demolition charges to be hurled in to finish the job. The Axis was probably grateful to see that charge, actually, after a few minutes of having all the air around them replaced by bullets.
It might as well have shot other guns instead of bullets.
#2. SAS Battle Jeeps
In 1940, a man named David Stirling came up with a plan to fight the Nazis in North Africa: Drive American Willys Jeeps hundreds of miles across uncharted desert while evading Axis patrols, sneak up on a Luftwaffe Airfield in the middle of the night, and wreck the place on foot.
And then melt them with our minds.
Nobody said it was a good plan. It's like somebody went through an actual strategy and replaced every instance of the word "tactical" with "balls out."
But astoundingly, it worked fine, for a bit. Eventually, though, the Germans upped the security on their airfields. So the SAS took a cue from Compton, and incorporated the mother of all drive-bys. They'd take up to half a dozen heavy machineguns pilfered from Allied aircraft, and strap them to their jeeps, resulting in these wildly over-powered, cartoonish gun platforms:
"Ehh... Needs more guns" - David "More Guns" Stirling.
That is a vehicle comprised entirely of guns, ammo, gas, water and poor impulse control. Not even radiator grills survived the strip down. Using these old-timey Twisted Metal characters, Stirling and company would tear ass past an Axis airbase in the dead of night, all guns blazing with tracer rounds, and presumably high-five as the world exploded around them. After that it was just a matter of getting as far away as possible before the remaining ground attack aircraft could get airborne. Hopefully they saved their turbo power-ups, instead of making the rookie mistake and just grabbing all the fireballs.
#1. The Polish Home Army's Everything
Poland is Europe's Afghanistan. Every superpower that tried to swallow it up has been subjected to unrelenting and extremely violent resistance. The Poles rose up against the Russians in the 1870s with giant medieval scythes, and they defeated an army wielding modern muskets and cannons. As to be expected, they didn't exactly welcome the Nazi war machine with open arms (nobody really did; the Nazis were notoriously discourteous house-guests.)
And they all wore stupid looking socks.
Britain was too far away to supply arms effectively, and the Soviet Union mostly didn't give a damn, so the Poles were very much on their own. What else was left to do but surreptitiously build all the weapons they needed themselves and fight the bastards anyway. Factories were set up in basements, auto repair shops and strongholds hidden deep in forests and swamps. From there, they supplied arms of astonishingly high quality to the resistance.
The Poles in their underground, impromptu factories managed to design, test and produce Filipinka and Sidolowka grenades, the Blyskawica, Bechowiec and KIS submachineguns, and satchel charges made from stolen munitions and dud German artillery shells. While these things are very impressive (or at least really good at puttin' holes in dudes,) that wasn't the end of the Pole's murderous ingenuity. Take, for example, the K-Pattern Flamethrower:
It consisted of one tank of compressed air, one larger tank full of a gas-diesel mixture, a rubber hose, a valve, a pipe and a short length of rope on the end of the barrel that would be kept constantly alight.
They used them to destroy Tiger Tanks.
Or how about the steampunk catapults they made from the leaf-springs of a truck, which they used to fling Molotov Cocktails over fortified walls?
But the biggest, craziest Polish MacGyverism of Death was the Kubus armored car:
People who were alive during the 80s should have the horn section from the A-Team theme blaring in their head right about now.
The whole thing was based on a Chevy truck platform, and was churned out in only 13 days in the back of an auto-repair shop in Warsaw. For reference, modern mechanics take 13 days to replace a headlight, and that's not counting the week spent waiting for the spring-clips to arrive from Korea.
There was no design or testing stage here, no written plan or blueprint: The manufacturer, Cyprian Odorkiewicz (O'Dorkowitz? Really?) just threw it all together and then drove it out the front door, straight into the Warsaw Uprising. It was armed with a Russian machinegun up top, and armored slots all around, from which the dozen Poles inside could fire their guns, tank-killing flame-throwers, or just swing their crazy-ass scythes around, depending on their ingenuity, resources, and how little of a fuck they wanted to give that day.
Check out more of Tony Pilgram's stuff at Bad Metaphors.
For more acts of badassery it's worth drinking a beer to this Memorial Day, check out 5 Real Life Soldiers Who Make Rambo Look Like a Pussy and 6 Soldiers Who Survived Shit That Would Kill a Terminator.